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ABC's 'THE MIDDLE'


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#1 of 34 OFFLINE   Inspector Hammer!

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Posted September 30 2009 - 01:41 PM

I really enjoyed the pilot, it was charming and funny.

Plus, I love that kid's name, I wish my name was Brick. /img/vbsmilies/htf/laugh.gif

Definitely be sticking around for this one.

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#2 of 34 ONLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted September 30 2009 - 02:11 PM

It was a poorer, knock-off of "Malcolm in the Middle" with Patricia Heaton's narration providing replacing Malcolm's breaking-the-fourth-wall conversations with the audience.

That being said, I really loved "Malcolm" when it was on and am happy to have even a weaker imitation. I love Neil Flynn, like Patricia Heaton OK, and thought Eden Sher was the best thing about the criminally underated "Sons & Daughters". I'm giving it at least a couple more episodes to see where it goes from here.



#3 of 34 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted October 02 2009 - 04:00 AM

Sons & Daughters!  I loved that show!  I mention it in threads whenever I get the chance.  I mentioned it in the Modern Family thread last week.

Of all the new comedies I've seen this year, this was the best of the bunch (well, aside from Community, that is -- I mean, come on -- Community is already funnier than The Office, so it's not even fair to include it in the conversation).  Yes, some of the jokes had a staleness to them (a bad driver's license picture being strip mined for laughs will never rise above mediocre) and the "bad family" theme was a mix of Malcolm and Roseanne, but how can you dislike Neil Flynn?  And Brick talking to his backpack cracked me up every time -- in fact, everything that kid did made me laugh.  If Heaton isn't careful, The Middle is going to turn into The Brick Show.  The thing that impressed me most were the production values -- this looked really expensive, and they had little touches and sight gags all over the place.  At least the producers care about making a quality show -- I didn't actually watch Hank, but that looks like they just shoved a bunch of shit into a pillowcase.  Accidentally on Purpose is that way too.

Eden Sher looks like Butthead from Beavis & Butthead.



#4 of 34 OFFLINE   Shawn Shultzaberger

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Posted October 05 2009 - 09:22 AM

I just happened to come across it by accident and what a nice find!  I enjoyed it quite a bit.  It did have that Malcolm in the Middle feel and it was kind of hard to get past Neil Flynn as the Janitor (from Scrubs).  But he seems to have that "Dad" vibe about him and pulls it off well.  Especially a dad in a mostly dysfunctional family.  I'm definitely looking forward to the next episode with the "throbbing manhood" question.



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#5 of 34 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted October 08 2009 - 04:48 AM

 Second show a letdown.  It felt like there was too much piling on with the misfortunes and was kind of a downer.  I still like Brick, but the other son's trait of sleeping all the time isn't really that funny.  And the daughter is too pathetic to engender any sympathy.  The way she's portrayed, she seems more than slightly retarded, which makes it less funny to laugh at her misfortune.

#6 of 34 ONLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted October 08 2009 - 04:23 PM

I still liked it. The second episode was more "Married with Children" than "Malcolm in the Middle", but at the heart of things you still have a functional marriage and an intact family unit. That's luckier than a lot of people have it.


#7 of 34 ONLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted October 09 2009 - 07:29 AM

Picked up for the full season


#8 of 34 ONLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted October 21 2009 - 03:36 PM

I was happy to see Sue's outburst tonight. That character was getting a little too pathetic.


#9 of 34 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted October 22 2009 - 05:38 AM

 Ugh.  I liked Eden in Sons and Daughters, but I just hate watching her in this show.  The writing is starting to grate on me, and it's a series of one-note downers with a convenient happy ending.  Which reminds me of a quote from Hal Hartley's Surviving Desire -- "The trouble with us Americans is that we always want a tragedy with a happy ending."  And that's the problem with this show -- it wants to paint and Roseanne-esque portrait of a family barely scraping by, but it can't stop itself from cheering up the audience they've depressed for 20 minutes.

After a really strong pilot, most of the things I liked have been removed, and I don't think I'm going to bother sticking around.



#10 of 34 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted October 22 2009 - 06:28 AM

There's a listing at IMDB for what appears to be an original pilot for this show from 2007.  Apparently Atticus Shaffer also played "Brick" in that pilot (he appears to be the only carryover).

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#11 of 34 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted October 22 2009 - 07:35 AM

 Hmm... sounds like a Malcolm in the Middle clone with Brick front and center retooled as a Patricia Heaton vehicle.

Kinda think it may have been better before Heaton was brought in.  Brick is one of the few redeeming parts of the show.


#12 of 34 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted October 22 2009 - 01:35 PM

I like the momentum of last night's episode.  It never waits or pauses for laughs, it just keep barreling along, demanding that its audience keeps up with them.  Kind of the antithesis of "Hank" in comedic style, perhaps due to "Hank"'s 3-camera setup, I suppose.


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#13 of 34 OFFLINE   Inspector Hammer!

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Posted October 22 2009 - 10:09 PM

I'm still enjoying this show very much, I never got into Malcolm in the Middle (don't care for Frankie Muniz) so this type of comedy is new to me.

I also liked that Sue finally spoke up about something. Although I would still like her even if she hadn't, she reminds me of myself at that age, I was painfully shy about stepping on toes as well so I understand her character more than probably most.

Brick continues to thoroughly amuse me almost as much as whomever that tired, aggravated and deathly bored dude is doing the announcements over the public address at the car lot, I never thought i'd laugh so hard at the sound of someone sighing lol.

Much like Howard's mom on The Big Bang Theory I hope we never see him hehe.


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#14 of 34 ONLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted October 28 2009 - 01:45 PM

They're starting to trust the rest of the characters more, and it's really helping the show. I liked that Mike (Neill Flynn) got his own storyline with Brick instead of just swooping in at the last minute to save Patricia Heaton from going insane. Sue is more of a presence, and they're finally using Axel as more than just a lug. Both this and "Modern Family" are really finding their grooves.


#15 of 34 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted November 04 2009 - 03:49 PM

I laughed so hard I thought I was gonna pee every time they revealed Sue's latest school pic. /img/vbsmilies/htf/laugh.gif I was laughing so at the second one I didn't even hear the explanation for why she was making that face.


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#16 of 34 ONLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted November 04 2009 - 05:09 PM

IIRC, she was trying to work a piece of food out of her teeth with the tip of her tongue. Solid episode. I like that they're making Neill Flynn's father character closer to an equal presence on the show than in the Patricia Heaton-dominated early episodes. It's really starting to feel comfortable with itself. I was glad Frankie finally sold a car.


#17 of 34 OFFLINE   Inspector Hammer!

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Posted November 04 2009 - 05:26 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Lenhardt 

IIRC, she was trying to work a piece of food out of her teeth with the tip of her tongue.
I think she said that she had a sore or blister inside her mouth and was feeling it with her tongue.

Hilarious episode, the family does feel like it's finding a balance between the funny stuff and being stern with the kids.


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#18 of 34 ONLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted November 29 2011 - 04:52 AM

I recently begun watching THE MIDDLE based on the

urgency of a co-worker and I must say, it is becoming

a new weekly favorite.


I think the cast is perfect, particularly the little kid, Brick,

who is just beyond his years.


The addition of Norm Macdonald to the show has been

also quite enjoyable.


Still a newbie, but this show is on my weekly Tivo

record list.  Looking forward to new shows.


Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#19 of 34 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted November 29 2011 - 06:06 AM

Glad you have discovered it (wispered under breath: "discovered it").  There really is nothing else like it on TV at the moment.  The family episodes are great, but I think my favorite one is when the neighbor watching the house called the police because she thought the house had been ransacked (it was just messy).  They do a great job making Sue look geeky:


before:

http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/


after:

http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/



#20 of 34 ONLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted November 29 2011 - 06:17 AM

It's the most underrated comedy on TV right now. The entire cast is great, and Mike and Frankie have one of the few plausible and functional sitcom marriages. I'll always remember Eden Sher (Sue) as the smart mouthed tween on ABC's short-lived "Sons & Daughters" and the sexually precocious teenager in the "Party Down" pilot. A terrific and fearless comedic performer.